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Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks Monday NBA Preview & Free Pick

Nuggets vs Bucks NBA Handicapping

All in all, it’s been one heck of a year for the Denver Nuggets, who need only a victory in one of their final two regular season games (tonight in Milwaukee or home on Wednesday against the lowly Phoenix Suns) to clinch home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Denver Nuggets (55-25) at Milwaukee Bucks (37-43)
Monday, April 15
Bradley Center, Milwaukee
8 p.m. EST
Bucks -5 at Bovada

Matchup | Preview

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The Nuggets head into the final half-week of the season with a one-game lead over the Clippers and Grizzlies for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Denver has won 37 of 40 home games. In one late season stretch the Nuggets went more than an entire month (Feb. 23 to March 25) without losing. Coach George Karl is one of the top candidates for the coach of the year award.

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Unless something strange happens tonight in Wisconsin, the Nuggets will be able to rest everyone on Wednesday, having nailed down the 3 seed and a date with Golden State or Houston in the first round of the playoffs and ready to make life a living hell for Oklahoma City or San Antonio somewhere down the road.

There was some gnashing of teeth when leading scorer Danillo Gallinari went down for the season with a torn ACL, but Nugget boosters are quick to point out that without Gallinari, Denver still has a 9-player rotation.

Maybe.

There is good news on PG Ty Lawson, who has returned to action after missing a handful of games with an ankle issue. Since his return Lawson has played more than 40 minutes without a turnover, and he was sharp (12 points, 10 assists) in Denver’s win over Portland on Monday night.

Not-so good news on rebounding machine Kenneth Faried, who suffered a sprained ankle early in the first period last night and in likely out tonight. [ad-6571516]

The injuries to Gallinari and now Faried have thinned out the rotation a bit, and the Nuggets will have to rely more on the likes of Andre Iguodala before the former Sixer tries his luck in free agency this summer.

The Bucks, meanwhile, are playing like they would just as soon skip the playoffs and go right to a beach in Aruba. They’ve lost 4 in a row and 6 of 7, one of the losses coming to an Orlando team which has completely packed it in. Milwaukee will spend this week waiting for the executioner, soon to be crushed by Miami in the first round of the playoffs.

So the apple is ripe for picking for the Nuggets in this one, even as banged up as they are right now.

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Like a lot of games, no line as of early this morning as oddsmakers evaluate the injury situation. Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings has missed a few games with a reported Achilles issue, and Larry Sanders is dealing with a bad back. No word of whether they’ll go tonight.

Add the fact that Denver has been decent (18-22) on the road this year and the Bucks have been mediocre (21-19) at home, and we’re liking the Nuggets outright.

DENVER 103, MILWAUKEE 99.

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Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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